Twisted Sister fans are pouring one out for the band's longtime drummer A.J. Pero as the percussionist was found dead of an apparent heart attack last week at the age of 55 (from The Hollywood Reporter).
"The members of Twisted Sister are profoundly saddened to announce the untimely passing of our brother, AJ Pero," read a post on the band's Facebook page. "The band, crew and most importantly the family of AJ Pero thank you for your thoughts and prayers at this time."
Twisted Sister is not touring at the moment, and Pero was on the road with his other band Adrenaline Mob.
Pero joined Twisted Sister much later in the band's history than the rest of its original lineup, but was still there for its 1982 debut album Under The Blade. And yes, that imposing introduction to the band's biggest hit, "We're Not Gonna Take It," was his doing. He would end up leaving the group during 1986 but was still considered an essential part of the band's "classic" lineup. He would rejoin Twisted Sister for tours during 1997, 2001 and 2002, before permanently becoming part of the lineup for the last 12 years.
"My friend, my brother, my band mate passed away today. My heart is broken. RIP A.J. Pero." wrote frontman Dee Snider on Twitter. "Thank you all for the outpouring of love and respect for @TwistedSisterNY drummer AJ Pero. I wish he was here to see the it. RIP my brother."
Adrenaline Mob was scheduled to play a show at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, and the band decided that the show would go on in Pero's honor. The fill-ins they managed to grab were fairly impressive: Former Adrenaline Mob member Mike Portnoy (better known as the former drummer for Dream Theater and stand-in for Avenged Sevenfold following the death of The Rev) and Breaking Benjamin's Chad Szeliga stepped up to help the show go on.